What exactly are academic interests? They are a specific academic topic that may be of particular interest to students. A student may explore different interests through classes, but will often develop those that will lead to degree programs.
There is no magic formula to determine the right interest. For this reason, we conducted thorough research and created this dazzling graph.
The visual content you’ll see below shows you the interest of academic students by the number of enrollment.
It’s apparent that students show the most academic interest in business, management, and marketing, even though it depicts a slight decrease, comparing it to last year’s enrollment numbers.
The precision production field registers the lowest number of students and little-to-no change in enrollment from the year before.
The highest increase in interest is recorded in science technologies, with a 6.4% change from last year. On the other end, the personal and culinary field registers the worst change in enrollment, with a devastating 16% decline from last year.
Now, let’s delve deeper and see why students choose these fields to further their academic education.
Academic Interests List
1. Business, Management & Marketing
Picking a major in this field will teach you everything you need to know regarding business processes. This means you will learn how to buy, sell, and produce goods. Other than that, you can also learn how to promote services and products, as well as manage other individuals.
To sum it up, business, management, and marketing will teach you every principle and technique of business in the workplace.
There are various majors to choose from in this field, depending on the academic areas of interest. And, coincidentally, there are also different career paths to choose from after graduating.
- Skills & Qualities: Communication, Problem-Solving, Time Management, Organization
- Top Majors: Accounting, Finance & Financial Management, Business Administration & Management, Marketing
- Career Opportunities: Education, Fashion, Hotels, Manufacturing
- Enrolled Students: 1,553,871
- Enrollment Rate: -1.4% decline from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 515,949.
Students who successfully attain their Bachelor’s degree report a substantial starting salary immediately after graduation. With reports indicating an average salary of $42,000 per year, it’s no wonder that college student interests are among the highest for this field.
To go one step further, a mid-career salary in this field amounts to a substantial yearly sum of $74,000.
Stunning numbers, aren’t they?
2. Health Professions & Clinical Sciences
This is one of the largest fields that offers different types of occupations for students. If you are considering a major in any area of specialization within health professions, you will learn how to assist medical professionals, work with various patients, and provide medical advice or services.
Reports indicate that students show increasingly high academic interests for nursing, making it one of the most popular fields to specialize in. According to our statistics about colleges with best job placement rates, the unemployment rate for medical technicians is 1%.
Nursing students work with many clients and administer treatments, perform physicals, and provide basic medical care, among other tasks.
A career in nursing will allow you to work closely with patients, helping with healing, and be the first-in-line to fight and prevent diseases.
- Skills & Qualities: Communication, Interpersonal, Analytically Oriented, Attentive
- Top Majors: Nursing, Public Health, Health & Medical Administrative Services, Health Sciences & Services
- Career Opportunities: Hospitals, Clinics, Medical Centers, Nursing Homes, Schools, Army
- Enrolled Students: 1,062,991
- Enrollment Rate: -1.1% decline from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 432,245.
Academic interests for health professions and clinical sciences are high, although they show a slight dip in enrollment rate.
Nevertheless, those who do manage to graduate are subject to a solid average starting salary of $48,000 per year.
Those who show continuous improvement and put in good performances may be rewarded with an excellent mid-career salary of $66,000 per year, on average.
3. Liberal Arts, General Studies & Humanities
Students who show increased levels of curiosity and also have a passion for learning are the perfect candidates for the liberal arts and sciences field. If you are one of these individuals and are stuck wondering, “what do my academic interests include,” then this field has all the answers for you.
You will learn transferable skills, as classes in English, math, and history will teach you research, reading, writing, and critical thinking.
- Skills & Qualities: Self-Motivation, Learning Passion, Time Management, Critical Thinking
- Top Majors: Liberal Arts General Studies
- Career Opportunities: Marketing, Advertising, Business, Government
- Enrolled Students: 984,090
- Enrollment Rate: -7.1% decline from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 432,335.
Students who successfully graduate may experience an average yearly starting salary of $36,000. Sticking with this field for years to come will earn you a solid mid-career salary averaging $61,000 per year.
4. Biological & Biomedical Sciences
The biological and biomedical sciences field has the most difficult college majors. Impeccable concentration and attention to detail are a necessity as students learn everything there is to know about the circle of life.
This is a fantastic field for those who want to know how molecules turn to cells, and then cells into organisms.
Students who are looking to acquire experience and knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, by examining specimens in a laboratory or outdoors into rivers and forests will find their academic interests and goals met with a major in this field.
- Skills & Qualities: Curiosity, Communication, Collaboration, Analytical & Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, Attention to Detail
- Top Majors: Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology, General Biology, Physiology & Pathology Sciences
- Career Opportunities: Medical, Health, Pharmaceutical & Environmental Industries;
- Enrolled Students: 580,185
- Enrollment Rate: 0.2% increase from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 127,604.
The average starting salary for college graduates in biological and biomedical sciences is recorded to be $37,000 annually. While the starting salary may not look so glammy, the mid-career salary looks quite stunning. Namely, after years of experience and progress, you may receive a yearly average salary of $70,000.
5. Personal & Culinary Services
Students with academic and personal interests to help others and who enjoy making them feel good and look their best will thrive with a career in this field.
Many degrees in personal and culinary services come in the form of an Associate’s degree. However, there are also many colleges that offer Bachelor’s programs.
Various careers also require licenses specific to certain states and even apprenticeships that can last from one to three years.
Some of the many academic interests examples are a passion for cooking and food or creativity with style and makeup.
- Skills & Qualities: Interpersonal, Communication, Customer Service, Management, Team Working
- Top Majors: Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Funeral & Mortuary Science
- Career Opportunities: Chefs, Hotel & Restaurant Managers, Makeup Artists, Hair Stylists, Funeral Directors
- Enrolled Students: 14,592
- Enrollment Rate: -16.7% decline from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 15,196.
The salary is not lucrative, to say the least. Students who successfully graduate in this field are looking to earn a starting salary of an average of $34,000 per year. Mid-career salary for personal and culinary services amounts to an average yearly sum of $52,000, making this field among the lowest-paying ones.
6. Mechanic & Repair Technologies
If you wonder what are the best academic interests for those who want to maintain and repair various types of machines, as well as vehicles and heavy operating equipment, we got the answer – the field of mechanic and repair technologies!
A program in this field will teach you every technical aspect of maintenance and repair. You will gain valuable skills in adjusting, replacing, and repairing equipment, tools, parts, and machines.
- Skills & Qualities: Curiosity, Problem-Solving, Communication, Customer Service
- Top Majors: Vehicle Maintenance & Repair, Industrial Equipment Maintenance, Electronics Maintenance & Repair
- Career Opportunities: Electronic Engineering Technician, Home Appliances Installation & Repair, Vehicle Mechanics
- Enrolled Students: 14,470
- Enrollment Rate: -6.0% decline from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 21,242.
Students with academic interests in the field of mechanic and repair technologies report an average yearly starting salary of $38,000 after graduation. Those who amass years of working experience in this field report a mid-career salary averaging $63,000 per year.
7. Construction Trades
Picking a major in construction trades will enable you to learn the technical knowledge to build, maintain, and inspect properties and structures. These college interests are ideal for those who are problem-solvers and like to work using their hands.
- Skills & Qualities: Logical Problem-Solving, Mathematics & Measurement, Communication
- Top Majors: Building Management & Inspection, Electrical & Power Transmission Installers, Carpentry
- Career Opportunities: Construction Manager, Building Inspector, Supervisor of Installers
- Enrolled Students: 10,914
- Enrollment Rate: 5.7% increase from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 5,497.
Students who have graduated in this field are reporting an average starting salary of $49,000 per year. Those who stay in this trade longer, report an outstanding mid-career salary, averaging 86,000 per year.
8. Precision Production
Precision production is one of the most accessible professional and academic interests due to the program’s levels of certificates and degrees. However, it’s not entirely effortless, as you will still need to learn the technical aspect of product development using illustration and precision manufacturing.
- Skills & Qualities: Math, Geometry, Problem-Solving, Physical Strength & Stamina
- Top Majors: Precision Metal Working, Woodworking
- Career Opportunities: Structural Welders, Solderers, Cutters, Machinists, Iron & Steel Workers
- Enrolled Students: 5,699
- Enrollment Rate: 0.5% increase from last year
- Yearly Graduations: 5,391.
The starting salary for graduates in this field amounts to a yearly average of $40,000. Furthermore, after years of working experience, you may receive a mid-career salary of $63,000 per year, on average.
Now, let’s shift our focus toward the enrollment numbers by the popularity of states.
College Enrollment by State
California, Texas, New York, and Florida are the four states with the highest number of enrolled students. It’s no surprise, as these four are, in fact, the largest states in America by population.
On the other end, the states with the lowest number of enrolled students are Montana, Vermont, Wyoming, and Alaska.
What is surprising is the fact that only one-fifth of all states record an increase in enrollment from the year before. According to this 2019 report, increasing college enrollment is present in only 11 of the 51 states.
Florida and Alaska are the states with the largest decrease, both recording a -5.2% change from the year prior. Utah and New Hampshire, on the other hand, are the states with the largest increase, recording a substantial 7.2% and 9.9% change from the year prior, respectively.
In 2019, there were 14.67 million students enrolled in public colleges, while 5.24 million were enrolled in private colleges. Even though enrollment numbers have experienced a decrease due to varying college students interests, these numbers are expected to increase through 2020. Projections estimate 14.69 million enrollments in public colleges and 5.24 million in private colleges by the fall of 2020.
- Enrolled Students: 2,341,696
- Enrollment Rate: -1.9%
- Four-Year Institutions: 269
- Two-Year Institutions: 172
- Enrolled Students: 1,387,352
- Enrollment Rate: -0.6%
- Four-Year Institutions: 144
- Two-Year Institutions: 117
- Enrolled Students: 1,015,816
- Enrollment Rate: -1.6%
- Four-Year Institutions: 238
- Two-Year Institutions: 63
- Enrolled Students: 888,072
- Enrollment Rate: -5.2%
- Four-Year Institutions: 141
- Two-Year Institutions: 60
- Enrolled Rate: 44,607
- Enrollment Rate: -2.8%
- Four-Year Institutions: 11
- Two-Year Institutions: 12
- Enrolled Students: 40,118
- Enrollment Rate: 2.1%
- Four-Year Institutions: 22
- Two-Year Institutions: 1
- Enrolled Rate: 27,661
- Enrollment Rate: -4.1%
- Four-Year Institutions: 2
- Two-Year Institutions: 8
- Enrolled Students: 22,888
- Enrollment Rate: -5.2%
- Four-Year Institutions: 6
- Two-Year Institutions: 2.
A college essay about “academic interests” and “why this school” is often a requirement for schools that participate in the Common Application. These essays can range from shorter (150 words) to longer ones (500+ words) and are an opportunity to gauge the student’s talents and interests with the school’s offerings.
Professionals in charge of admissions usually read the “why this school” essay first to see what students truly know about the school and why they want to attend that particular school.
Let’s play with numbers again and see what statistics can show us about universities and enrollment.
College Enrollment Statistics by University
The primary projections on enrollment estimated an increase. However, numbers show quite the opposite, as numerous research reports indicate a decrease in college enrollment. In 2019, there were a total of 19,91 million students enrolled in all types of sectors. It’s a negative change, with reports showing a decrease of 1.4% compared to the year prior.
According to the NSC Research Center, 41.9% of all students were men, while 58.1% were women. Taking a look at these college student demographics of 2020, male enrollments decreased by 2.8%, while female enrollments decreased by 0.8% compared to the year before.
Now, let’s find out which are the four most popular universities, as well as their offerings:
1. University of Central Florida
- Enrollment in Fall 2019: 69,525
- National Ranking: 371
- Average SAT Score: 1,310
- Sports Programs: 14
- Tuition & Fees: $6,368 to $22,467.
Stat #1: 69% of all instructors at the University of Central Florida are full-time.
The University of Central Florida can boast itself by having a higher than average percentage of full-time teachers. Namely, the US average percentage for full-time teachers is 47%. This leaves only a third of these teachers working part-time.
Stat #2: The average application acceptance rate is 49.9%.
These college enrollment statistics indicate that about half of all applicants may face rejection when applying to the University of Central Florida. The criteria for applicants of this university are strict, with standardized test scores being a necessary requirement, as well as a $30 application fee.
Stat #3: 75% of all students receive some form of financial aid.
Nearly three-quarters of the student-base receive financial assistance, mostly coming in the form of loans. The typical amount for financial aid in the first year amounts to $12,060.
2. Texas A&M University
- Enrolled Students: 69,465
- National Ranking: 89
- Average SAT Score: 1,310
- Sports Programs: 12
- Tuition & Fees: $10,294 to $35,860.
Stat #1: The average application acceptance rate is 70.5%.
With decreasing college enrollment projections of 0.6%, Texas A&M University can pride itself on this astonishing percentage of accepted applications. Namely, more than two-thirds of all applications are getting admitted.
Stat #2: 85% of all instructors at Texas A&M University are full-time.
The vast majority of the teaching staff of this university are working full-time. Being among the highest in the nation, they are also above the US average, similar to the teaching staff at the University of Central Florida.
Stat #3: 52% of all first-year students receive some form of financial aid.
What these stats on college enrollment indicate is that half of all freshmen are subjected to financial assistance. In addition, 55% of the aid comes in the form of grants and scholarships. The typical amount for financial aid in the first year amounts to $15,781.
3. The Ohio State University
- Enrolled Students: 68,262
- National Ranking: 206
- Average SAT Score: 1,420
- Sports Programs: 30
- Tuition & Fees: $10,592 to $29,696.
Stat #1: 66% of all instructors at Ohio State University are full-time.
This university reports above the US average use of full-time teachers. Two-thirds of all teachers are working full-time, and only a third are working part-time.
Stat #2: The average application acceptance rate is 48.1%.
The college enrollment statistics of 2020 indicate that Ohio State University has the lowest acceptance rate of these four universities. Namely, just below half of all student applicants will get themselves admitted to this university.
Stat #3: About 70% of all new students are bound to receive financial aid.
For those who do manage to get accepted, the benefits are excellent. More than two-thirds of new students are getting financial assistance in the form of grants and scholarships. The typical amount for financial aid in the first year amounts to $17,209.
4. Florida International University
- Enrolled Students: 58,827
- National Ranking: 497
- Average SAT Score: 1,230
- Sports Programs: 13
- Tuition & Fees: $6,556 to $18,954.
Stat #1: The average application acceptance rate is 54.1%.
The numbers for college enrollment by state show that Florida experiences the highest decrease among the most popular universities. Nevertheless, more than half of all student applicants are bound for Florida International University.
Stat #2: 58% of all instructors at Florida International University are full-time.
Yet another university that records above the average use of full-time teachers. Little less than two-thirds of all teachers are working full-time.
Stat #3: 84% of all new students receive financial aid.
A staggering amount of newly arriving students receive some form of financial assistance. The aid is divided with loans amassing 49%, while grants and scholarship amass 51%. The typical amount for financial aid in the first year is $12,597.
Academic interests are a way for students to figure out the topics they genuinely care about in order to pursue a later career, learn, and find the true meaning of their work.
In today’s article, we summed up the most popular interests and states, as well as the best universities for enrollment. This should be enough to get you started when looking for the best opportunities available.